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318                 JOURNEYS IN KURDISTAN      LETTER xxix

native fashion; his primitive and unpalatable food, served
in copper bowls from the Patriarch's kitchen, is eaten with
his fingers; he is nearly without possessions, he sleeps on
the floor "among the spiders" without a mattress, he
lives in a hovel up a steep ladder in a sort of tower
out of repair—Syrian customs and etiquette have be-
come second nature to him.

He has no "mission work" to report. He is him-
self the mission and the work. The hostility of the
Turkish Government and the insecurity of the country
prevent him from opening schools, he cannot even
assemble a few boys and teach them their letters; he got
a bit of land and the stones for erecting a cottage, but is
not allowed to build; his plans are all frustrated by,
bigotry on one side and timidity on the other, and he is
even prevented from preaching by the blind conservatism
of the patriarchal court. It has not been the custom to
have preaching at Kochanes. " Sermons were dangerous
things that promoted heresy," the Patriarch said. But
Mr. Browne is far from being idle. People come
to him from the villages and surrounding country for
advice, and often take it. They confide all their concerns
to him, he acts effectively the part of a peacemaker in
their quarrels, he is trusted even by the semi - savage
chiefs and priests of the mountain tribes, and his medi-
cal skill, which is at the service of all, is largely resorted*
to at all hours of the day. Silenced from preaching and
prohibited from teaching, far better than a sermon
is his own cheery life of unconscious self-sacrifice, truth,
purity, and devotion. This example the people can
understand, though they cannot see why an English-
man should voluntarily take to such a life as he leads.
His power lies in his singular love for them, and in
his almost complete absorption in their lives and interests.

His room is most amusing.    It is little better than a